Embracing the wave – Tar-Miriel’s last thoughts

by Aug 23, 2003Stories

The sky darkens. The very sun seems veiled in shadow. I stand outside the accursed palace of Pharazon, but it seems dark, not only to my heart, but to my eyes. My ears hear people screaming, my eyes look to the west, and all I see is the dark line, sweeping, covering all, as a shadow that floods the earth.

But I know that it is no shadow.

It is a wave, rising from the sea like some dread form, climbing slowly but surely over Númenor. The land that we have lived in for so long, that we love, is doomed by Pharazon’s folly. The wrath and punishment of the Valar is come.

Amid the wreckage, a sudden instinct comes to me, and heedless of all I gird up my dress and run for sacred Meneltarma, hallowed to Eru, for there, I believe, is sanctuary, a refuge from destruction. But even as I climb up the Meneltarma, I know that it will be no use. Nowhere shall the wrath of the Valar not reach. I stand tall, and look one last time at Numenor the beloved, taking in every detail. I look at the doomed people, and tears spring to my eyes. But suddenly, I see ships, sailing out from Numenor, towards Middle-earth. The wind flourished the standard, and I know it is Elendil with his people. I smile, and suddenly feel stronger. Elendil will survive, and with him some remainder of the Edain. May Uinen of the seas guide you and guard you, I cry in thought, May the Valar be always with you, and may the fate that has befallen Numenor never befall you.

And I turn to face death, resolution forming in my heart. I must be brave. I will not let death take me as some cringing prisoner, unwilling, forcefully. If death by water be my fate, than so be it. If this is what the Valar intends to inflict upon our people for our arrogance, so be it. The wave is coming, rising ever higher. I stand still. The wave envelopes me, calling my name. I reach out my arms to embrace it, and breathe it deep into myself. As a cool touch it seems to me, and I let the world slowly fade around me. I am no longer Ar-Zimraphael. Once more I will be Miriel, as I was before Pharazon cast his shadow over me. And I slip into death, trusting that beyond death will be light.

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